Tooth mamelons are a set of bumps on the tops of your incisors. Most people wear them down naturally through everyday chewing but for some, tooth mamelons stick around well into adulthood.
People are thought to have tooth mamelons to help adult teeth break through gums. There are usually three ridges per tooth on your eight incisors. They are made from the same tough enamel as the rest of your teeth.
Tough as enamel is, this enamel typically gets worn away in aligned teeth. For those with misaligned bites, the ridges may still be around. While having mamelons poses no health risks, some people find these bumps to be aesthetically displeasing. Mamelons can be removed through a procedure called tooth contouring. Talk to your dentist if the procedure is right for you.
Check With Your Dentist
It’s always best to go over in detail any procedure with your dentist before making a decision. Depending on why your mamelons are sticking around, it may be more suitable to fix a misalignment & then see if the ridges slowly start to wear down on their own.
If tooth contouring does sound like the right procedure to get your smile the way you want it, your dentist will first have to examine your teeth. They’ll take x-rays to determine where your enamel ends & how much of the ridges can be taken away without risking damage to the sensitive root area.
Once your teeth have been mapped out, your dentist will schedule you for your procedure. The next time you come in, they will remove the mamelons by either grinding them away with a drill or removing them via laser. While that may seem like a lot, it isn’t. The removal is fast & painless.
Even with minor alterations to your teeth that involve the removal of enamel, however, there is an increased risk of tooth chipping or cracking. That’s why it’s important to maintain excellent oral hygiene habits after your care.
One definite perk of tooth contouring is its fast recovery time. You’ll be back to your normal day right after the procedure. No anesthesia is required as enamel has no nerves, so you won’t be drowsy or need a driver. Other than some increased sensitivity to extreme temperatures, your mouth should be fully functional. The sensitivity should only last a day or two.
While recovery times are fast & the procedure can be completed quickly in one visit, the fact that it is considered cosmetic dentistry means it’s unlikely that your dental insurance will cover the cost. Check with your dentist to see if your insurance will cover part or all of the contouring. Don’t worry though, contouring is generally one of the less expensive procedures, & many dentists offer in-house dental plans that include discounts on all their services. So even if you’re on a budget, you can still get the pleasing smile you want.